Interventionism is the system which keeps the private ownership aspect of capitalism and yet allows and encourages the state to jump in, wherever it deems necessary, to improve the machinations of the market and make things better than they would have been without government involvement. Interventionism takes a variety of forms, including those especially relevant to our western way of like: Keynesianism, Neo-keynesianism, and monetarism, as examples. They state must involve itself in certain industries and on behalf of certain interests, some of them “left-wing” concerns and others “pro-business” protections.
Socialism, true socialism, is not like that. Socialism requires a complete reconstruction of all of society– from the decision makers, to the allocation of resources. As I prepare a longer essay on the nature of democratic socialism, and seek to compare it with social democracy, one of the points that I want to hone in on is that social democracy and left-interventionism attempts to use the current social arrangements and make them better for the “workers” or for the “poor,” etc. The socialists need to completely upend all of it, the whole kit and caboodle.
In this way, so many social democrats will point to the welfare systems of Scandinavia as success stories. But welfarism is not socialism and it in fact presupposes capitalist structures; wherein the ownership of the means of production is held by capitalist, profit-seeking people. Welfarism is not a component of socialism because under socialism there is no need to redistribute the excesses of the rich back to the poor: there are no rich. Everyone allegedly shares in the cashflow, if there is any (some radical marxists don’t even believe in money), but in any case if all of the workers share equal parts of a company, and there is no capitalist to capture the profits, then all workers split the proceeds: welfare is irrelevant.
As was noted over at Jacobin:
Make no mistake: a Nordic-style welfare state would be vastly preferable to our neoliberal alternative, and we should work toward the construction of some of its most important institutions here in the US. But by calling ourselves democratic socialists, we signal our aspiration for a deeper democratization of society than social democracy will allow.